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PhD Public Health & Health Policy

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Research opportunities

Within the UK, a PhD is a research degree, undertaken full-time over 36 months, or part-time over 60 months. Students are expected to undertake research that results in a thesis which contributes to the wider literature in the field, thereby making an original contribution to current knowledge.

All Postgraduate Research Students within the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences are members of the Graduate School and have access to facilities, events, and funding opportunities. PhD students in Public Health and Health Policy can also link into the Centre for Health Policy, which offers links to networks of academics, policy makers and practitioners.

In undertaking a PhD with us, you're required to engage fully with the review process which includes six-monthly interim reviews, and 12-monthly annual reviews.

View our current research opportunities

Life on Mars: reconstructing the welfare of boys admitted to the TS Mars, 1869 to 1929

This project is based on the records of the TS Mars. It will address questions including: what light can data shed on the welfare of children on the TS Mars? What light do these records shed on child & adolescent growth patterns since the mid-19th century? What light does the Mars shed on the relationship between the statutory & voluntary sectors in the management of welfare institutions? What role did the Mars play in the history of care & reformation in 19th and early 20th century Scotland?




Global Research Award 2024-25 (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)

As part of its longstanding commitment to growing its population of excellent postgraduate researchers, the University is offering a number of Global Research Awards. These awards will cover the full tuition fee for International and UK postgraduate research students, commencing study on 1 October 2024. The award will apply for each year of study, up to a maximum of 3 years for full-time study. 


3 May 2024



John Anderson Research Studentship Scheme (JARSS)

John Anderson Research Studentship Scheme (JARSS) doctoral studentships are available annually for excellent students and excellent research projects.

There are two main sources of funding:

  • Central University funding
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council - Doctoral Training Partnership (EPSRC - DTP) funding.

The JARSS 2023/2024 competition will open in October 2023 and students successful in this competition will commence studies in October 2024. Faculties will set their own internal deadlines for the competition.

Academics/Supervisors make the applications for this scheme and there are various deadlines across the Department and Faculties, therefore, in the first instance, all interested students should contact the Department where they would like to carry out their research.




THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless otherwise stated.

Entrants may be subject to a small fee during the writing up period.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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  • 2024/25: £4,786
  • 2023/24: £4,712
England, Wales & Northern Ireland
  • 2024/25: £4,786
  • 2023/24: £4,712
  • 2024/25: £18,050

Take a look at our funding your postgraduate research web page for funding information.

You can also view our scholarships search for further funding opportunities.

Postgraduate research opportunities

Search for all funded and non-funded postgraduate research opportunities.

Additional costs

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.


Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

Postgraduate research at the Strathclyde Doctoral School

The Strathclyde Doctoral School provides a vibrant and comprehensive student-centred research and training environment in order to grow and support current and future research talent.

The School encompasses our four faculties and is committed to enriching the student experience, intensifying research outputs and opportunities, and ensuring training is at the highest level. As a postgraduate researcher, you'll automatically become a member of the Strathclyde Doctoral School.

Find out more about the Doctoral School

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SupervisorAreas of expertise
Neil Quinn
  • global public health
  • social welfare policy
  • social work
  • health
  • human rights
Prof Katherine Smith
  • public health policy
  • health inequalities
  • tobacco control
  • qualitative methods (interviewing, focus groups, policy analysis, discourse analysis, deliberative methods)
  • lobbying and advocacy
  • the interplay between evidence and policy
Prof Bernard Harris
  • history of social policy
  • history of health
  • anthropometric history voluntarism and the state
  • history of mutual aid
Dr Ellen Stewart
  • health policy
  • social policy
  • citizen participation in policy and research
  • activism and health policy
  • qualitative methods


Our research

A PhD in Public Health and Health Policy at Strathclyde may incorporate more than one of the following areas:

  • Using theoretical perspectives from public health and social sciences to advance knowledge in associated areas.
  • Identifying the impact of public policy on health outcomes.
  • Exploring the impact of the social determinants of health of the health and well-being of vulnerable groups.
  • Assessing and evaluating approaches to promote health and well-being and address health inequalities.

At Strathclyde, we can offer supervisory expertise in a variety of areas within Public Health and Health Policy, including:

  • Public health
  • Social determinants of health
  • Health and human rights
  • Mental health
  • Public policy analysis
  • Health inequalities
  • Health of vulnerable groups
  • Contemporary social movements and health
  • Health history
  • Health communication
  • Task-shifting

All PhDs have two supervisors, and the supervisory team may be comprised of colleagues from different subject areas or Schools within the Faculty. Interdisciplinary applications are strongly encouraged.

Find out more about our research

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Support & development

The Graduate School

As a postgraduate researcher in Public Health and Health Policy, you will be supported throughout your journey by the Faculty Graduate School administrative team. We're members of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities and the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science. All registered PhD students are members of one or both of these schools (depending on your subject discipline), which provide training, event and funding opportunities. They also encompass the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership (SGSAH) and the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership (SGSSS), which offer fully-funded studentships.

The Graduate School is also a well-equipped physical space, which further facilitates our strong emphasis on interdisciplinary working.

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD)

While pursuing your PhD, you'll also undertake the University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD), which provides comprehensive professional and personal development training for all postgraduate research students.

The programme offers a tailored suite of workshops, courses, events, online provision and resources designed to meet the development needs of postgraduate research students.  PhD students will graduate with the University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development. This is a unique qualification, where students can gain credits for academic-related activities, such as conference presentations and organisation. The aim is to develop skilled, confident researchers and effective and valuable potential employees.

The Faculty also offers a Research Skills Programme which comprises a set of workshops aimed at supporting your development as a competent researcher in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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If you are interested in studying for a PhD in Public Health & Health Policy, the first thing you need to do is to find out if there’s a supervisor available to oversee your studies.

The other key element is your research proposal. You can find guidelines on writing proposals here.

Entry requirements

Normally, a Masters degree from a recognised academic institution and at least one year of full-time experience (or equivalent) in a professional field with an educational dimension.

The application

When applying, you will be asked to upload:

  • Your research proposal
  • Scans of degree certificates/transcripts
  • Two academic reference letters (If it would be easier for you, you can ask your referees to send their letters direct to placing your name and the word "reference" in the subject line)
  • Confirmation of funding

If you are an international applicant and don’t have a Masters degree from a UK University (or a University where the primary medium of instruction is English), you will also be required to provide IELTS certificate (overall band score of 6.5 with no individual test score below 5.5)

Start date

Most PhD students start in October, so they move forward as one cohort, but you can start at any time of year (people often have to defer until they find funding.) Keep an eye on our funding databases (postgraduate research opportunities and university scholarships) for any forthcoming Strathclyde research studentship opportunities.

Accepting an offer

When you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Public Health and Health Policy

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Public Health and Health Policy

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Public Health and Health Policy

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Public Health and Health Policy

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Public Health and Health Policy

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Public Health and Health Policy

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

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Contact us

Professor Neil Quinn

Telephone: +44 (0)141 444 8652


Mr Lee Knifton